As a small business owner, the ability to gain an 8(a) certification opens the door to a field of beneficial opportunities. However, given the benefits that come along with this certification, obtaining this declaration does come along with a bit of a process — a process that you must adhere to precisely. To improve your chances of success, learn how you can make the certification process smoother and less stressful.
Take a few moments to research your business's status as it pertains to the 8(a) certification process. This certification is designed to provide assistance for business owners that come from socially and economically disadvantaged groups. As a result, the primary owner of the business must come from a group that meets the classification. Rather than waste your time, verify your business's eligibility first.
The 8(a) certification is only awarded to businesses with the proper registration. First, make sure your business has a registered tax number, such as a TIN or EIN. Next, register your business with the System for Award Management (SAM) to ensure you are approved to work with the government once your certification is approved. Lastly, you should also register for a Dun and Bradstreet number (DUNS) to establish a credit history for your business.
A part of the certification process is a thorough review of your business's finances. You can have every other part of your application together, but if the financial piece is not organized or accurate, your application is likely to be denied. It's a good idea to organize all of your information beforehand so that you can turn over your records when requested.
In addition to your finances, the government will also require you to prove that you are in fact, certified and licensed to operate in the said area of your business. Consequently, make sure you can validate any claims you make about your expertise and education. Similar to your financial records it's best to have this information organized and on hand ahead of time.
Don't assume that you have to complete your application process on your own. There are certified professionals and consultants who can guide you through the entire process to improve your chances of success. From helping you validate your eligibility to organizing your application information, a consultant can help you all the way through.
When it comes to the 8(a) application process, make certain you take your time and follow these tips for the best possible results.